Entertainment Bollywood 03 Jul 2019 New innings at 40

New innings at 40

Published Jul 3, 2019, 12:06 am IST
Updated Jul 3, 2019, 12:06 am IST
Aftab Shivdasani
 Aftab Shivdasani

Just as he is charting an exciting direction in his acting career, we engage Aftab Shivdasani in a freewheeling chat about life, the filmverse and everything…

After three decades in the Hindi film industry, actor Aftab Shivdasani is all set to make his debut in Sandalwood, sharing the screen with his friend Kichcha Sudeep in the upcoming Kannada film Kotigobba 3. We ask how this opportunity came about and he tells us how Sudeep and he met during the Celebrity Cricket League, which ultimately led him to sign this film. “We hit it off right from the minute we got acquainted. He’s an incredible actor and someone who shares the same passion for the game (Cricket) as I do. We also share a passion for food. When I was offered Kotigobba 3, I was very happy to be working with him after all these years as we’ve always been friends and it’s a great opportunity to work together as there is always a comfort level,” he smiles. He goes on to add that the two actors usually hang out together during shoots and even sometimes post-pack up. “He’s one of the most hard-working and intelligent actors I’ve met and it’s always inspiring to have him around,” he shares. Does this mean that the Bollywood actor’s focus is shifting southwards? “Kotigobba 3 is the only regional film I’m doing at this point but I am reading scripts. I’d love to do more quality work in the South as I believe the industry is very welcoming,” he answers.

His first lead as an actor was in Ram Gopal Varma’s Mast opposite Urmila Matondkar in 2000, for which he won awards for best debut and promising newcomer. He says nonchalantly, “To be frank, it wasn’t challenging at all! There was no pressure as I grew up in front of the camera so I was never conscious or nervous. I didn’t have a legacy to justify as I didn’t hail from a film family. The only difference this time was that I had to shoulder the responsibility of carrying an entire film on my shoulders as I was the lead actor now and had to prove my creative credibility.”

 When we wonder aloud if he isn’t biting off more than he can chew with a film in an unfamiliar language, he muses, “It feels great to look back and see all the experience I’ve gathered over the years. But often I feel my journey has not even begun! Ups and downs are part and parcel of this life and I’m willing to take every challenge head on without letting the success get to my head. I have learnt to accept hardship and accomplishment in my stride and not let either of them affect my career.” He also reveals that although he loves action the most, he enjoys all the genres he has attempted. “I have even loved producing (Aao Wish Karein, 2009) and I would love to produce in the future again,” Aftab confides. But for now, it’s time to focus on travelling with his wife Nin  and working out hard as he awaits the upcoming release and the excitement that comes along with it. The feeling is an unbeatable, one-in-a-crore (kotigobba) high!



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